Local Woman Pleads Guilty to Aiding in Kidnapping of Elderly Man
DAYTON – Taylor Karas, 25, of Dayton, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court for her role in the kidnapping of an elderly man.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced the plea entered into today before Senior U.S. District Judge Water H. Rice.
According to the Statement of Facts in this case, on October 6, 2016, Karas and co-defendants James Marriott and Andrew Azzalina kidnapped an adult male victim and transported him across state lines. Karas lured the victim to a motel by calling him and asking him to borrow money. The victim agreed to her request and they arranged to meet.
When the elderly man arrived, Marriott threatened him with a gun while he and Azzalina demanded any items of value and bank and credit card information. Acting under Marriott’s direction, the three located the victim’s car keys, moved him from the motel to his Ford Explorer, and forced him to accompany them to various places in western Ohio and eastern Indiana where they attempted to use his bank cards to withdrawal cash and buy items.
They took him to a bank in Englewood and when the victim could not remember his PIN code, they drove him to a Dollar General and eventually to a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Richmond, Indiana to purchase items for the defendants.
Believing that the victim had requested help from the sales clerk during the purchase of clothing and other items at Dick’s Sporting Goods, the trio abandoned the elderly man at the store and fled back to Ohio in his vehicle.
Marriott, Karas and Azzalina were indicted in October 2016 on charges of aiding and abetting in kidnapping and taking a stolen vehicle across state lines. Marriott and Azzalina were also charged with brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Marriott faces additional charges for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and while a fugitive from justice for sentencing on guilty pleas to aggravated possession of drugs and having weapons under disability.
Karas pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting kidnapping, which is punishable by a maximum potential sentence of up to life in prison. Marriott and Azzalina are scheduled for trial on March 6.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI as well as Assistant United States Attorney Brent G. Tabacchi, who is prosecuting this case.